Michael and Amy White with their daughter, Olivia, who was born 15 weeks premature.
Michael and Amy White with their daughter, Olivia, who was born 15 weeks premature.

Miracle baby Olivia comes home

WHEN Bundaberg mum Amy White looks at her newborn baby Olivia, she finds it hard to believe that just nine weeks ago she weighed barely more than a tub of margarine.

The tiny newborn weighed just 754 grams when she was delivered at 25 weeks on August 24 by emergency caesarean at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Mrs White had been flown from Bundaberg by the Royal Flying Doctor Service for emergency care after her waters broke.

Immediately after Olivia’s birth, she was ventilated and her body connected to a jumble of life-supporting tubes.

“She was 754 grams when she was born and about the length of a ruler – 31cm long. Our main concern was losing her. At 25 weeks she should not have really been here yet,” Mrs White said.

One of Olivia’s first baby photos is of her mum’s wedding band placed on Olivia’s tiny hand.

“She could have worn it like a bangle,” Mrs White said.

“The doctors were saying that she might not survive because she was so premature. They gave her a 40 to 45% chance of survival. Before the operation, doctors were preparing us for the worst.”

But Olivia is now 35 weeks and thriving.

“When we weighed her yesterday, she was 2010 grams,” Amy said.

Mum and baby returned home late last week to be cared for at Bundaberg Hospital’s Special Care Nursery until she is strong enough to be allowed home.

Mrs White said she was relieved to be home, but was grateful for the specialist medical care she and her baby received in Bundaberg and in Brisbane, as well as the support of Ronald McDonald House.

The proud mum now visits Bundaberg Hospital three times a day to breastfeed Olivia, who will soon be exclusively breastfed – a major achievement for both mum and baby.

Siblings Declan, 4, and Abbie, 2, are thrilled with the new addition.

Special beds double

Baby Olivia is being cared for in Bundaberg's Maternity and Antenatal Unit building, in the new eight-cot Special Care Nursery.

Bed numbers in the new nursery were doubled in the upgrade, which was officially opened on September 9.

Midwife unit manager Ann Robinson said the nursery provided extra spaces for babies, families and staff.

“The Special Care Nursery averages three to four babies at any one time, but the increase in cots now ensures we have adequate facilities when peaks in activity occur,” Ms Robinson said.

Babies of 32 weeks' gestation or more can be cared for at Bundaberg Hospital.

“However, it depends on the condition of the baby and how much intensive treatment is required,” Ms Robinson said.

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